WEEKEND ACTION IN REVIEW
What is this I ‘m reading about the Big 12 race being over? Why are people acting as if KU has its 13th consecutive championship locked up?
Do they not REALize that if the Jayhawks go 0-4 in their remaining games, they will not even take away a share of the 2017 title if Baylor, West Virginia or Iowa St finish 4-0?
Granted, Baylor’s task is tougher than projected Friday, when KU still had a Projected Loss on its schedule (at Baylor) and Baylor had three Projected Wins (vs. KU. OU. and West Virginia). But even though closing out at 5-0 is no longer possible. 4-0 is entirely do-able, right?
And KU going 0-4? Not only possible, but entirely likely for a team so suspect that it has outscored its opponents in its last three victories by a total of 3 points in regulation. (1 at Texas Tech, 0 vs. WVU, and 2 at Baylor.)
Just kidding. Gonzaga has a better chance of missing the NCAA tournament than KU has of not adding another Big 12 championship to its resume. The Hawks would have to lose to TCU and Oklahoma at Home, as well as Texas and Okie St on the Road even if one of the other three teams still theoretically and mathematically alive wins out.
The actual odds against this happening are approximately the same as winning a game where you trail by 14 points with 2:43 remaining on a Monday and scoring the last eight points of the game to win by 2 five days later.
Or put another way. The odds of someone playing defense in the NBA All Star Game.
In other words, it ain’t gonna happen.
KU, of course, picked up two REAL games on Baylor with its win in a Projected Loss game combined with Baylor’s Loss in a game it was projected to win.
Still, there are seeds to be determined for the conference tournament (not Championship) and bids to be earned for March Madness. Any team with fewer than 8 wins is in jeopardy of playing games where fouls are reset at the ten minute mark each half, there are no 1 and 1’s, and the shot clock is shortened to 20 seconds when the ball is brought in bounds in the front court.
In games bearing on these prospects, only one team helped itself. K-State picked up a full game in the REAL Standings by winning its Projected Loss game at Texas. The Fighting BW’s are now projected to finish 8-10 rather than 7-11, which could be the difference between a party in the Little Apple on Selection Sunday and a coaching search.
All three other games went to the Projected Winners, resulting in no changes in the REAL records of any of the six teams involved: West Virginia over Tech in Morgantown, Okie St over OU in Stillwater, and Iowa St over TCU in Ames.
KU, Baylor, West Virginia
Iowa St, K-State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma St, Texas, TCU, Texas Tech,
Projected L’s: N.A.
At risk games (at UT, at OSU)
Projected L’s: None
At risk games (at ISU, at UT)
Projected L’s (at BU)
At risk games (at TCU)
Projected L’s (at Tech, at WVU)
At risk games (vs. BU)
Okie State (7-7)
Projected L’s (at K-State, at ISU)
At risk games (vs. KU)
Projected L’s (at OU, at TCU)
At risk games: N.A
Projected L’s (at KU, at OU)
At risk games: (vs. WVU)
Projected L’s (at OSU, at K-State)
At risk games: N.A.
O (as in zeroUT (4-10)
Projected L’s (at WVU, at Tech)
At risk games (vs. KU, vs. BU
Projected L’s (at BU, at KU)
At risk games: N.A.
AS SEEN ON TV
1. Iowa St at Texas Tech (8:00pm) (ESPNU) (Projected W: Tech) ***1/2
There has been no movement between the two REAL Standings tiers through 14 games. The Cyclones can make their case for promotion to Tier One with a victory at a venue where both West Virginia and Baylor have lost, and KU escaped with a last second one point win. A W will also keep them alive in the race for the Big 12 title. At least In theory.
They will be facing a desperate team. A loss drops Tech to a Projected conference record of 6-12 with no Road wins. That is a recipe for the NIT.
2. Texas at West Virginia (8:00p.m.) (ESPN) (Projected W: WVU) **
Texas is a team going nowhere with nothing to play for. Which could make them dangerous. WVU tries to stay alive in the race for the Big 12 title. At least in theory.
3. Oklahoma at Baylor (6:00p.m.) (ESPN2) (Projected W: BU) **1/2
See Texas at West Virginia.
4. TCU at KU (6:00p.m.) (ESPN2) (Projected W: KU) ***
No matter what happens elsewhere, a W here, and KU’s Magic Number for an unprecedented 14th straight conference championship (or share thereof) is 18.
5. Oklahoma St at K-St (8:00p.m.) (ESPNU) (Projected W: K-St) ****
After losing its first six conference games, Okie St is looking good for a first division finish and a spot in the Ridiculously Large Field of 68. It is the second straight Must Win game for Manhattan’s Finest.